A Baking Adventure: Orange Chocolate Cupcakes

A few weeks ago I needed to bring a dessert to an event. It was fairly last minute, so I thought, “What do I have in the house that I can make?” Well, of course that means cupcakes. I always have cake mixes and and tub frosting (from my former life where I didn’t making my own frosting). I had a chocolate mix that made 12 cupcakes, which would be perfect. I didn’t have any fun frosting flavors, and the buttercream is always so sweet, so I thought, “What can I add to this that will go with chocolate?” Browsing the fridge, I saw an orange. Perfect!

I added chocolate chips to the cake batter because the coloring seemed light and I was worried about how chocolaty it would be, especially since it wasn’t a brand name. After getting the batter together and in the oven, I zested the orange and added that to the tub frosting.

The citrus really helped cut down on the sweetness of the frosting. Then, to keep it simple, I spread the frosting on top (instead of piping) and topped it with some chocolate sprinkles.

The cupcakes were a huge hit at the cook-out. No one was surprised to see that I brought cupcakes and after having tasted my cupcakes before, from our bake sale, they went fast! I really loved one young girl’s method of licking of the frosting off and then removing all the chocolate chips from the cake to eat those before finishing the cake. Guess it’s a good thing I added those!

Although I usually try to challenge myself in these baking adventures, this was a really good experience in taking things I already had on hand and modifying them to make the results a little more special.

We’d love to hear about easy additions you make to recipes to bring them up a notch!

– Posted by Cupcake Crusader, Jenn (Westminster, MD)